New Eats: Soi No. 9

In September, Tim Vimonnimit and his wife, Mai Mittrakul, won $10,000 on Food Network’s “Big Food Truck Tip” when Andrew Zimmern picked their basil chicken and khao soi as his favorites when the show filmed in town.

Soi No. 9, the food truck, is still operating, but last month the couple opened a permanent location in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and it’s open to the public. (The recently remodeled food court is also home to Southern Hands and Coletta’s; Power Life Smoothies and Eats will reopen soon elsewhere on campus.)

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Soi No. 9 Now Open in the UTHSC Food Court, Power Life Smoothies & Eats Moves to Student-Alumni Center

Today, the popular food truck Soi No. 9 opened for business in the UTHSC Food Court, its first brick-and-mortar location. It joins local vendors Coletta’s, Southern Hands, and Power Life Smoothies & Eats on the UTHSC campus.

Soi No. 9 is located in the space previously occupied by Power Life Smoothies & Eats. Power Life Smoothies & Eats will move to the Student-Alumni Center.

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Food Network’s 'Big Food Truck Tip' winner takes home $10,000

The Memphis episode of Food Network’s “Big Food Truck Tip” aired Wednesday night and viewers found out which of the three featured food trucks received a $10,000 surprise in the tip jar. 

It was Soi No. 9, a popular truck owned by Tim and Mae Vimmonimit, who serve Thai food. Basil chicken and khao soi, a chicken curry served over crisp noodles, beat out the Southern fried chicken taco at El Mero Taco and the Soft Shell Crab BLT at Stanley's Sweet Treat Sweets.

But it wasn't an easy decision, as host Andrew Zimmern said more than once during the show.

"This is the hardest decision I've had to make on this show," he said. "I think it really speaks to the quality of the food truck food in Memphis."

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Soi No. 9 wins the big tip on Andrew Zimmern's new Food Network Show

Zimmern visited both Soi No. 9 and El Mero Food Truck at the weekly Court Square Food Truck Thursday event.

Vimonnimit and Mitrakul serve authentic Thai street foods from their truck, Soi No. 9.  They wowed Zimmern with their popular Basil Chicken — stir-fried ground chicken seasoned with garlic, fresh chilies and Thai basil is served over jasmine rice and topped with a fried egg, and their Khoa Soy Noodles — egg noodles in a flavorful yellow curry sauce with sliced chicken.

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Soi Number 9 Debuts on Chef Andrew Zimmern's "Big Food Truck Tip" on Food Network

As an entrepreneur, a former food truck owner and a passionate eater with years of culinary experiences behind him, no one knows the ins and outs of the American food truck scene quite like Andrew Zimmern. He recognizes the hard work that’s needed to launch and sustain a mobile business, he’s quick to spot burgeoning talent when he sees it, and he certainly knows good food. This summer, Andrew is kicking off one of his most-important food missions to date as he hits the road to reward food truck operators who are doing it all and doing it right.

On Big Food Truck Tip, premiering Wednesday, Sept. 19 with back-to-back episodes starting at 10|9c, Andrew will visit cities big and small to experience a trio of trucks and trailers in the local area. He’ll meet the folks who run the operation on the ground, learn their histories and inspirations, and get up close and personal with some of their signature menu items. But as he’s visiting each truck, he’ll also be taking stock of its opportunities for growth in the future — because he’s got a surprise up his sleeve to help one location. Big time. The food truck owners don’t know this, but before Andrew’s trip to each city is complete, he’ll return to one of the trucks and leave a whopping $10,000 cash tip in the jar. Each entrepreneur is dedicated and hard-working, but only one will unknowingly show off their special something to Andrew and ultimately find themselves with a life-changing tip.

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Mai Mitrakul
The Weekly Dish: Three Memphis food trucks featured on Food Network new primetime series

One Memphis food truck operator is in for a mighty big tip.

After focusing on Memphis BBQ pitmasters on the popular show Chopped back in August, Food Network has now turned their attention on three Memphis food trucks in their new primetime series “Big Food Truck Tip with Andrew Zimmern.”

Big Food Truck Tip premiers with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. The Memphis segment will air at 9:30 p.m.

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Mai Mitrakul
EDIBLE MEMPHIS: Our Soi - Your Street

EDIBLE MEMPHIS: Our Soi-Your Street

It’s time for school again, and the buses are making their rounds. Kids dread the sight of them, but there is one that everyone likes to see—Soi Number 9. This bright orange converted school bus is a food truck that specializes in authentic Thai food.

Chef and owner Tim Vimonnimit grew up in southern Thailand and started cooking with his mother at the age of six. A classically trained Thai chef, Tim has worked in the restaurant business for over 40 years both here in Memphis and along the coast in southern Thailand.

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StyleBlueprint: 16 Memphis Food Trucks to Try This Summer

16 Memphis Food Trucks to Try This Summer

Jennifer Chandler

No question about it, Memphis has one awesome — and tasty — food truck scene! Dozens of food trucks are now rolling through the streets of the Bluff City at events, in parks, on street corners and at office complexes. No matter what kind of cuisine you are craving, you can find it on a food truck somewhere in town.

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I Love Memphis Blog

Ed. Note: Michael Butler begins a series on Memphis food trucks with Soi Number 9, a brand-spanking new mobile restaurant that serves up Thai street food. Have a little-known food truck he should explore? Email me at or Tweet to him at @_one901.

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Mai Mitrakulilovememphis